Most people know that there’s a lot that goes into starting a business. First of all, you’ll need money— which can be obtained from financial institutions when you create a business plan. Next, you’ll need to take that money and purchase everything you’re going to need to equip your business.
The majority of people are aware of what it takes to equip a business, but it takes more than just supplies— you’re also going to need tools (physical and digital), equipment, and anything else that will help you perform all of your business tasks. Here are five general tools and equipment that most businesses will need.
#1: Commercial Building and Vehicle
If you don’t plan on opening an e-commerce business, then you’re going to need a building to operate from. Keep in mind that you can operate both in-person and online if you want to operate online. However, if you’re going to operate in-person you’re going to need to find a commercial property, as opposed to a residential property/operating your business from your home. Some laws prohibit the use of residential properties for business, so you’ll have to check with your local government.
You may also need a vehicle just for your business, especially if you provide delivery services. In some cases, you may be able to use your personal vehicle for both business and personal use, but it’s easier to have two separate vehicles for tax purposes.
#2: Business Insurance
You’re also going to need to protect your business from huge financial losses, so you’re going to need business insurance. If you obtain a commercial building and a commercial vehicle, you’re going to need commercial property insurance and commercial auto, respectively. Other types of insurance you’ll need to obtain for your business include:
- General liability insurance
- Data breach insurance
- Business income insurance
- Commercial umbrella insurance
You should also look into getting workers’ compensation insurance if you plan on hiring help, and you’ll need product liability insurance— or professional liability insurance if you provide services. Make sure you’re aware of all of the types of business insurance you’ll need depending on the type of business you open.
#3: Office Equipment
Of course, you’re going to have to equip your office with the usual office equipment. This includes things like phones (landlines and smartphones), computers, printers, shredders, etc. Don’t forget about practical office equipment and supplies such as desks/tables and chairs, paper, pens/pencils, staplers and staples, light bulbs, envelopes and stamps, projectors, etc.
You may also need kitchen supplies, such as coffee makers, microwave ovens, and a refrigerator for the break room for you and your employees. Also think about water fountains and/or water coolers as well, if the commercial building you buy/rent doesn’t already have them.
#4: Internet and Communications
For the majority of your office equipment to work, you’re going to need an internet service provider— in addition to electricity, of course. When choosing an ISP, you’ll have to determine the number of devices you’ll have hooked up to it to choose the most reliable option. Essential devices that need to connect to the internet include:
When setting up a computer network, you’ll need a local area network (LAN)— unless you have remote workers, in which case you’ll need a wide area network (WAN).
#5: Software Systems
Finally, you’re going to need a variety of software systems to help you run your business more efficiently. Business software is a set of computer programs that perform certain business functions so you don’t have to, or have to hire someone to do. Some of the most common types of business software include accounting software, time-tracking software, CRM (customer relationship management) software, communication software, and project management software.
To make managing all of your business software easier, you’re going to need a managed service provider to house everything. A managed service from GSI can do this for you, allowing you to focus on business matters.
To make sure that you don’t forget anything, make a list of all of the essentials that you know you’re going to need, and then think about the things you’ll need to use these things. For example, you’ll need internet access in order to use your computers. Next, think about what a typical day at your office would look like and the things you’ll need to get through the day. You want to be ready and able to fully function before you open your doors.